A few favorite things I’ve consumed with my ears, eyeballs and lips:
My cousin and I share pretty much the same taste in music — I went with him to Lollapalooza about 8 years ago when I may have gotten into a catfight at a Regina Spektor concert — except Bobby’s been keeping up much better than I these days. So I asked him to make me a mix CD for Joe and I to take on our Decorah road trip, and he delivered! It was so much fun to get a package in the mail, and I even held out and didn’t peek at what tracks he’d chosen until we popped the mix in. I was actually pretty surprised by how many of the artists/bands had performed at 80/35 over the years. Jenny Lewis, Spoon, Ezra Furman & the Harpoons, etc.
Good tunes are essential when you decide to get up to photograph the sunrise over a prairie.
The best part of the whole thing was laughing at the annotated track listing slip, because I could practically hear Bobby saying some of the funny stuff in there. Cousins are great.
I heard about “Testament of Youth” a few months ago (on NPR, natch), and requested the Des Moines Public Library acquire a copy because they didn’t have it in their collection. I’m surprised I’d never heard of the 80-year-old classic before; it’s an autobiography of Vera Brittain’s time coming of age during WWI, published in 1933.
The book was recently adapted to a movie, so it’s getting some renewed interest — and it means that my copy from the library has one of those awful movie adaptation covers.
I’m totally into it. Well, technically, a third of the way in to the dense but fast-moving 650 pages. Hoping I can finish it before the baby arrives! Brittain’s voice is certainly of her era, but the strong feminist opinions she expresses feel totally modern. Girl. Crush. I’ll definitely watch the movie after reading the book, but I highly doubt it can fully capture her spirit, though it did get good reviews!
I’ve been doing lots more reading than anything else these days, but Joe and I streamed “Chef” (Jon Favreau) on Netflix a few weeks ago and it was such a fun movie. I will warn you, though, don’t watch it without having access to an awesome hot, spicy sandwich. It’s going to make you hungry!
We also streamed “The Grand Seduction,” which isn’t sexy as it sounds and was cute in a “Waking Ned Divine” kind of watch-it-with-your parents way.
These “Steel Cow” paintings by Iowa born-and-raised Valerie Miller were all over Decorah and I am in love. We took home a magnet they were selling at Seed Savers, where they had giant mural canvases up on two of the barns. Each animal (mostly cows) has her own name and persona and I just love them.
There’s a Steel Cow on the side of the Co-Op in Decorah, too, and I just have to also give a shoutout to the Gray Duck Chai “Eddie Wu” chai + lemonade drink I picked up there.
It’s based out of Minnesota and is a cold spicy-sour-sweet that is crazy in your mouth. Somebody bring me a case? It’s insane.